6 exciting things people are doing with Raspberry Pi

DIY heaven

What will you do when you suddenly have the power of a desktop computer and graphics as good as first generation Xbox in a device that’s as small as a credit card? You will do amazing things with it.

Here are some of the most exciting projects people have created around Raspberry Pi. Most of these projects are open source so you can try them at home: all you need is some understanding of electronics and operating systems.

christmas light
Credit: Swapnil Bhartiya
1: Christmas lights

This is one of my favorite Pi projects, and I will be doing this on Christmas. This project allows you to sync your music with Christmas lights. Basically what it does is control the solid state relays to turn the lights on and off with music. Relays are magical; once the the Christmas season is over, you can unhook the lights and plug in some water fountains and create magic.

Check out the project page

Credit: YouTube
2: Make your own PiPhone

David Huntie took the Pi to a new level and ended up creating a smartphone that he calls the PiPhone. In addition to the Pi, he used Adafruit touchscreen interface for the screen and a GSM/GPRS module for calling capabilities. This device, though fun to make, isn't so fun to use. It's bulkier than even the Nexus 6 and gets way too hot if you leave it on for a longer period.

Create your own PiPhone

chatter hone
3: Talking Chatter Smartphone

If you have kids you may have bought one those smart toys that can talk. The fact is, these toys are not that smart. But you can make them as smart as you want, thanks to Raspberry Pi. That’s what Grant Gibson did. He took the Chatter Telephone by Fisher Price, and replaced its brain with Raspberry Pi. Now the Chatter Telephone does things like report the weather.

Check out the project here.

Credit: Make/YouTube
4: Go live on radio

Make Magazine has published a nifty guide to creating your own Pi Radio with the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero. The only soldering you would need is to connect a wire to the Pi that can be used an antenna; the rest is just software. There is one caveat -- keep your frequencies within the legal range so they don’t interfere with broadcasters or those used by government agencies. Also avoid using it if you are near an airport.

Check out the project here

5: Mirror mirror on the wall

This is one of the most exciting, clever and a bit complex projects. Michael Teeuw came up with an extremely creative idea to slap an observation mirror on top of a monitor so that it will work as a mirror and a display simultaneously. The mirror can display any info you program it to. I would love to have such a mirror on my wall that can show me my to-do list, the weather, etc.

If you are interesting in building the magic mirror for your loved one this Christmas, check out this page.

home automation
6: Home automation

You don’t need to hand over the keys to your house to some company, or throw a lot of cash at them to turn it into a smart home. All you need to do is throw the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and some open source software together and you will be able to automate quite a lot of things around your house: lights, A/C, fans, oven, front door...the possibilities are immense.

Check out some interesting home automation projects